Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 171, November 2019Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Woodworking!
By Derek Bayford
Palmerston North, New Zealand


My name is Derek Bayford and I have been doing woodwork of one sort or another all my life. I started in High School with a very good traditional 'old school' teacher who emphasized the need for accuracy and working carefully and methodically. Consequently, I have followed those words and prefer to do fine joinery to the best of my ability and like to make items that are well proportioned and finished to a high standard.



Having made a range of items from basic furniture, outdoor structures, display cases, serving boards, etc, I now prefer to make jewellery boxes. There is something special about a box as it straight away wants you to open it to discover what is inside. I like the tactile quality of working in wood as again you want to touch the surface and feel it which is why I go to great lengths to get a finish that I am happy with, probably taking far too much time to achieve, but something I am happy to do.


I live in Palmerston North, New Zealand, a city of about 100,000 people located in the Manawatu about 2 hours drive north of the capital of Wellington.


This jewellery box below (and the very first photo above) has been inspired by the ornate brass inlaid neoclassical jewellery boxes of the mid-19th century made by such English Boxmakers as Asprey, Leuchars and Betjemann and Sons.


This box still follows the neoclassical design elements but has also been made more contemporary with having a thin overhanging lid, as opposed to the early boxes with deep lids sized to match the case. In addition, a matching plinth has been added. The lid has been veneered in Australian Redwood Burl as a feature of the box.


The timbers of the early boxes, such as Coromandel, Kingwood and Indian Rosewood, are now either not available or availability is very restricted. I chose to make this box from solid Western Australian Jarrah, being a dense timber that finishes well to deep reddish brown.


The tray dividers are lined with printed satin, as I like the effect of the imitated moiré design, and the trays are lined with matching plain velvet. The inside of the lid is lined in a co-ordinating plain satin.


The lid, case fronts, sides and tray facings feature inlaid brass, with brass corners on the case and are complemented by high quality brass stop hinges. The components were sourced from England, the U.S.A, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

The jewellery box is sealed with multiple coats of Danish Oil, lightly sanded between coats, to obtain a mirror-like, quality surface. The final finish is completed with several coats of Carnauba Wax polish which forms a hard barrier that is not prone to fingerprinting.

This is the first time I have worked with brass and so it was quite a steep learning curve and I have learnt a lot.


Derek can be reached by email at derekbayford@hotmail.com.

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